Substitute Alexandre Lacazette’s second-half goal was enough to ensure Arsenal won back-to-back league games for the first time since September after a 1-0 success at Brighton.
Arsenal were especially poor in the first half, not registering a single shot on target, but the returning skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should have scored early in the second half from close range, with Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez making a brilliant save with his knee.
The visitors kept the pressure on and just 29 seconds after coming off the bench, Lacazette fired home his third goal in as many games to give the Gunners the lead in the 66th minute.
Brighton could not find a way past a determined Arsenal, who held on to start their climb back up the table after a nightmare opening few months to the season.
Graham Potter made six changes to the Brighton side, with no striker named from the start, and it showed as they offered little threat early on, despite playing some nice football.
Arsenal were even more slow and ponderous, finishing the half without having had a shot in the first half of a league match for the fourth time this season – only Newcastle have not found the target in the opening period on more occasions this campaign.
Whatever Mikel Arteta said at half time seemed to work wonders as Arsenal had five shots at goal in the opening nine minutes of the second half, and an Arteta change later in the match made all the difference. The credit for the winner, however, has to go to Bukayo Saka for a brilliant assist, well finished off by Lacazette.
Potter threw on some attacking players but, as has been the case for much of Brighton’s season so far, their lack of cutting edge in the final third cost them, dear. They finish 2020 having won one home league game all season.